First off: Juro, this is in no way a slam on you. I don't think I will come off that way but I wanted to make sure I was clear from the start. I just love a good political debate and I couldn't resist.
Oh my nasty conservative nature is just crying for me to speak out.
Before I go on I want to say up front that I do care about the environment, I’ve reported contaminators and resource abusers, I always try to leave a place cleaner than when I arrived, and I am generally conservation minded.
First of all the Kyoto Protocol calls for the US to decrease it’s CO2 emissions to 7% below our 1990 emissions. When the standard takes effect it will mean we will have to effectively reduce our CO2 emissions by 40%. If all the countries adhere to the called for reductions we will realize a temperature reduction of .13 degrees by the year 2050 and the best guess estimates of the IPCC (the main proponent of the Kyoto Protocol) is for warming to be 2.25 degrees by 2100. (An interesting side note is that the IPCC’s best guess dropped 3.55 degrees in 8 years and there is still a large body of evidence to indicate that it is still too high.)
What will we pay to achieve this reduction? The cumulative effect will be about 12% GDP per year. (Do you think the economy is suffering now?)
What might this mean in more “real life” terms? Taking into account population growth and making the assumption that we make lighting 20% more efficient, approximately 13 million homes would have to have their lights turned off. For the automobile industry to meet their share of the burden we would have to have an average MPG of 36. Not so bad until you consider that many of the cars on the road today will still be on the road, then to meet the average of 36 the manufacturers would have to produce vehicles with an average MPG of 60 and do it in about 7 – 10 years.
On to the unfairness of it all. While we are reducing our emissions by 40% countries like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan will emit more carbon than the US under little or no restrictions while dictating compliance terms to the US. If you were in the business of making things that resulted in greenhouse gas emissions where would you do it? (yet more damage to our economy)
Debunking the warming hysteria: a number of interesting points. 1. The "carbon dioxide fertilization effect", meaning that higher CO2 levels increase plant growth like the loblolly pine (perhaps the largest producer of lumber) which will increase it’s growth rate by 25% per year by 2050, was underestimated by half by the computer models seriously affecting their results. 2. There are more trees in North America today than when our forefathers arrived and the forests are growing so rapidly that they are actually consuming more CO2 per year than we emit. Our continent is a net “sink” for CO2. 3. The vast majority of any warming that does occur will take place in the winter, and within that season, the coldest, deadliest air masses will show the greatest change. 4. In one single eruption Mt. Penatubo released into the atmosphere more greenhouse gasses than mankind has created in it’s ENTIRE history!
All that being said I think the Kyoto Protocol is a noble pursuit championed by truly caring individuals – I just think they are misguided. Clearly there is much we can do to be better stewards of our one and only world and I am confident that our consciences and that of our country will lead us to do the right thing. Perhaps not as fast as some of us would like but they will be the ones who push the rest and it will happen.
One final note: Just today the US completed a very successful test of a laser based anti-missile defense system. And there is very strong evidence of liquid water under the ice of Jupiter’s moon Io. (I may have got the moon and planet mixed up.)